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2009 Big East Recruiting - What It All Means
West Virginia RB Tavon Austin
West Virginia RB Tavon Austin
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Feb 7, 2009


How does the 2009 Big East recruiting class really affect the college football world?

Recruiting 2009 ... Big East
Ranking the Big East classes

Click on each team for the fill class list and top players
Cincinnati | Connecticut | Louisville | Pittsburgh
Rutgers | South Florida | Syracuse | West Virginia

- CFN Recruiting 2009
- 2008 CFN Big East Recruiting Rankings
- 2007 CFN Big East Recruiting Rankings
- 2006 CFN Big East Recruiting Rankings
- CFN 2009 Recruiting Rankings
No. 1 to 30 | No. 31 to 60 | No. 61 to 90 | No. 91 to 120

1. West Virginia  CFN’s 2008 Conference Recruiting Rank: 2
The class is heavy on ... Skill position players. The Mountaineers have roped in a slew of speedy, dynamic backs and receivers, who can go a long with the ball. What else is new? This class, which is particularly heavy on outstanding wideouts, is tailored-made for an offense that hopes to throw the ball more than in the past. Logan Heastie was fielding interest from the likes of Florida and USC, so he might waste little time getting on the field.
The player who’ll someday be a really big deal ... RB Tavon Austin
The player you might care about this year ... WR Logan Heastie
What it all means to the real world of college football ... Hold off on writing that epitaph for West Virginia and Bill Stewart. With a big assist from top recruiter Doc Holliday, who deftly mined the state of Florida for talent, the ‘eers have put together a star-studded, speedy class that’ll prevent any significant short-term drop-off in the Big East pecking order. 

2. South Florida   CFN’s 2008 Conference Recruiting Rank: 3
The class is heavy on ... The defensive line. Can you say epic haul? Jim Leavitt is retooling his defensive front on the fly, with a mix of talented ends and tackles from junior college, post-graduate schools, and high schools. George Selvie, Aaron Harris, and Terrell McClain won’t be around forever, so it was important to bring new reinforcements to ensure the success of the defense for the foreseeable future. DT Leslie Stirrups was supposed to be one of the cornerstones of the 2006 class, but is just now making it to Tampa after problems with grades.
The player who’ll someday be a really big deal ... DE Ryne Giddins
The player you might care about this year ... DE Jason Pierre-Paul
What it all means to the real world of college football ... Leavitt and the Bulls continue to make good use of their surroundings in the bountiful Sunshine State. This class has a nice combination of immediate impact players and building blocks for the future. Beating out the likes of Florida for Giddins and Pierre-Paul is proof that South Florida isn’t simply living off the big boy’s scraps any longer.

3. Pitt 
CFN’s 2008 Conference Recruiting Rank: 1
The class is heavy on ... backs. How do you answer the departure of star LeSean McCoy to the NFL after his sophomore season? You sign four young backs, who’ll be in a position to contribute in a year or two. There’s a nice blend of skills in the group. Dion Lewis and Jason Douglas provide the dash. At 205 pounds, Kevin Adams will bring the punch if he doesn’t move to safety. Raymond Graham, who was also pursued by Rutgers and Maryland, has a chance to be the best of the group.
The player who’ll someday be a really big deal ... TE Brock DeCicco
The player you might care about this year ... LB Dan Mason
What it all means to the real world of college football ... Dave Wannstedt continues to prove his mettle as a recruiter, as only West Virginia and South Florida assembled a better class in the Big East. The Panthers attracted a fair amount of speed, and bolstered both sides of the ball. In order to keep DeCicco in state, Pitt had to fend off the likes of Miami, Maryland, and Wisconsin, who’ve all had recent success stories at the position.

4. Rutgers  
CFN’s 2008 Conference Recruiting Rank: 4
The class is heavy on ... defensive backs. The departures of S Courtney Greene and CB Jason McCourty made this unit a priority for Greg Schiano and the Scarlet Knights. Rutgers didn’t have to travel very far to land S Abdul Smith and CB Duron Harmon, two of the best at their positions in the region. Schiano added quality and quantity to the secondary, which will prove especially valuable a year from now.
The player who’ll someday be a really big deal ... QB Tom Savage
The player you might care about this year ... WR Malcolm Johnson
What it all means to the real world of college football ... It used to be that Schiano would live or die based on how well he recruited Florida. This year? Not so much. The Knights won a bunch of key battles in Delaware, Pennsylvania, New York, and New Jersey, keeping three- and four-star recruits from leaving the Northeast. With Savage and RB Aaron Hayward, Rutgers believes it might have its backfield of the future.

5. Cincinnati  
CFN’s 2008 Conference Recruiting Rank: 6
The class is heavy on ... tight ends. Can you say overkill? Cincinnati has signed four of the country’s top 100 tight ends, providing plenty of depth for Ben Guidugli and Kazeem Alli. From the program that turned Connor Barwin into the Big East’s sack leader a year ago, you can count on one or two of these tight ends, like Will Saddler and Mitch Kessel, to switch position at some point in their ‘Cat careers.
The player who’ll someday be a really big deal ... CB Chris Williams
The player you might care about this year ... WR Jamar Howard
What it all means to the real world of college football ... Shouldn’t the Bearcats have done a better job of capitalizing on last year’s Big East championship? They had just the fifth best class in the conference, and one high-schooler to earn four stars. It’s a good thing that Cincinnati is fast becoming one of the nation’s top schools at coaching up less-heralded recruits.

6. Louisville  
CFN’s 2008 Conference Recruiting Rank: 5
The class is heavy on ... junior college transfers. Can you smell the desperation coming out of Northern Kentucky? Steve Kragthorpe, in need of instant help, went heavy on JUCO transfers, especially on the defensive side of the ball. The scales tipped overwhelmingly toward the D in this class, though Kragthorpe did land Santa Rosa (Calif.) College QB Andrew Froman, who’ll be in the mix to replace Hunter Cantwell.
The player who’ll someday be a really big deal ... LB Mike Privott
The player you might care about this year ... DT Peni Fiu'angaihetau
What it all means to the real world of college football ... The Cardinals continue to take a beating in the offseason. With each coaching defection, there was at least one recruit that wavered in his commitment to the program. Kragthorpe is recruiting for right now. If the transfers don’t pan out, he won’t be around for the second half of the high school commits’ careers.

7. Connecticut  
CFN’s 2008 Conference Recruiting Rank: 8
The class is heavy on ... receivers. Although the Husky quarterbacks haven’t exactly been crisp since Dan Orlovsky graduated, they haven’t been helped by the receivers either. Connecticut had one of the worst units in the country a year ago, which explains why the position got so much attention from Randy Edsall and the staff. Three of the four commits rank among the top 150 receivers, led by Ft. Lauderdale product Dwayne Difton. 
The player who’ll someday be a really big deal ... G Steve Greene
The player you might care about this year ... WR Dwayne Difton
What it all means to the real world of college football ... A couple of weeks before signing day, Edsall hired Joe Moorhead to rev up the offense and be his new coordinator. This class gives the newest Husky coach some nice parts to work with in 2009 and beyond. As usual, the Huskies attracted a marginal group of athletes, some of whom will be coached up into productive Big East players and even NFL-caliber types.  

8. Syracuse  
CFN’s 2008 Conference Recruiting Rank: 7
The class is heavy on ... defensive backs. Understanding the need to address a secondary that was last in the Big East in pass efficiency defense, the staff loaded up on defensive backs. In fact, almost half of the entire class was either a safety or a cornerback. The best of the lot are corners Torian Phillips, Phillip Thomas, and Dale Peterman, who’ll all have a shot for immediate playing time.
The player who’ll someday be a really big deal ... WR Alec Lemon
The player you might care about this year ... CB Torian Phillips
What it all means to the real world of college football ... First-year head coach Doug Marrone got off to a late start, and it showed with a class that’s short on both quality and quantity. No one jumps off the page as an immediate contributor in 2009 or an eventual star down the road. Lefty Charley Loeb is not the answer the program or the fan base was after to solve its decade-long riddle at quarterback.